USD 231

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela 

The Gardner Edgerton Public School District is proud to join our nation in honoring Black History Month throughout the month of February! Also known as National African American History Month, this annual celebration commemorates the contributions and achievements of Black Americans. It serves as a time for recognizing the pivotal role of African Americans in the story of the United States of America. 

Founded by historian Carter G. Woodson, Negro History Week was first celebrated on February 12, 1926, to commemorate and celebrate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent. The date coincides with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. By the late 1960s, through the civil rights movement and growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month during the U.S. bicentennial, expanding Negro History Week into a month-long celebration. He called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

 Since then, U.S. presidents have designated February as Black History Month each year. The theme of Black History Month 2021 is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity," chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. 

Read more about the history and celebration of Black History Month, find resources for teachers or to celebrate at home, and more at You can also check out this incredible list of influential Black Americans!